Evidentiary hearing in case against utility district director postponed | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Evidentiary hearing in case against utility district director postponed

Adam Jensen

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The preliminary hearing for a South Tahoe Public Utility District director accused of resisting police was delayed until March on Friday.

El Dorado County District Attorneys charged Dale Rise with a single felony count of obstructing an officer after a Sept. 28 incident where South Lake Tahoe police responded to Rise’s home following the report of a domestic disturbance.

According to police, Rise became belligerent with responding officers, trying to slam a door in their faces and shock an officer with a Taser device that had been ineffectively deployed against Rise. Police arrested the utility district director at the scene.

Rise’s preliminary hearing was initially scheduled for Friday, but was postponed until March 1 because of police officers’ availability to testify, said William Cole, Rise’s attorney. During a preliminary hearing, a judge decides whether there is enough evidence to continue legal proceedings against someone accused of a crime.

Cole declined to discuss specifics of the case on Friday.

The maximum penalty for conviction of resisting a police officer in California is one year in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

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If Rise is convicted of the felony, he would also be required to relinquish his seat on the South Tahoe Public Utility District Board of Directors, said district spokesman Dennis Cocking.

Because there are less than two years remaining in Rise’s four year term, public utility district directors would appoint someone to Rise’s seat if he is required to step down, Cocking said.

If there are more than two years left on the term of a vacated seat, the board has the option of calling a special election, Cocking said.

Rise’s term is scheduled to expire in December 2011.

Cocking did not comment on the allegations against Rise, calling the incident a “personal matter.”

The case has not interfered with Rise’s work on the public utility district’s board, according to the spokesman.

“It hasn’t affected his ability to do his job,” Cocking said. “To my knowledge, he’s never missed a meeting.”